JK Rowling to publish new children's book for free

J.K. Rowling attends HBO's "Finding The Way Home" World Premiere at Hudson Yards on December 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

JK Rowling has announced she will be publishing a new children's book after unearthing a "stand alone fairy tale" she wrote over 10 years ago.

The author explained 'The Ickabog' had only been heard by her youngest children but would now be published online chapter by chapter to entertain kids during lockdown.

Taking to Twitter to make the announcement in a long thread, Rowling made clear the new tale was not related to Harry Potter.

Read more: JK Rowling experienced ‘all COVID-19 symptoms’

The author explained she had intended to publish it after the last book in the Harry Potter series but ultimately decided to publish her books for adult readers, The Casual Vacancy and series Cormoran Strike, first.

Detailing her retrieval of the original writing, she shared: "Over time I came to think of The Ickabog as just for my family. The manuscript went up into the attic, where it remained until a few weeks ago."

“Opening the box was like opening a time capsule,” Rowling continued. “Most of the story was handwritten, but bits had been typed up. When I put it into some kind of order (I'm not renowned for my filing skills) I had a patchwork first draft.”

She went on: "Anyway, over the last few weeks I’ve done a bit of rewriting and I’ve decided to publish the Ickabog for free online, so children on lockdown, or even those back at school during these strange, unsettling times, can read it or have it read to them.”

J.K. Rowling, left, and Neil Murray attend the 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

Rowling shared that a chapter or more would be posted every weekday from 3pm on Tuesday 26 May until 10 July on a website set to go live later on Tuesday.

The author went on to say children had the chance to illustrate the book for her, with the best submissions in each publishing territories to be included in the books that are set for publication in November.

Rowling said the decision would not be down to her as publishers had the final say but that she would comment on artwork posted with #TheIckabog hashtag.

In addition to her £1million donation to two charities earlier this month, the writer is set to donate her author royalties from The Ickabog to good causes.

"Lastly, I intend to donate my author royalties from the published books to projects and organisations helping the groups most impacted by Covid-19. Full details will be made available later in the year," she posted.